The Fifth Tusculan Disputation is the finest of the five books, its nearest rival being the First (also edited in this series). The middle three books, represented in this edition by the Second, are, as the author clearly intended, less elevated, though still showing Cicero’s flair for elegant and lively exposition, and providing much valuable information about the teaching of the main Hellenistic philosophical schools, especially the Stoics. They argue that the perfect human life, or complete human well-being, that of the ‘wise man’, is unaffected by physical and mental distress or extremes of emotion. Against this background the Fifth puts the positive, mainly Stoic, case that virtue, moral goodness, is alone and of itself sufficient. Latin text with facing-page English translation, introduction and commentary.
A. E. Douglas wrote many books on Cicero, including an edition of Tusculan Disputations in this series, and Cicero (Clarendon Press 1968).